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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 19, 2011 2:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

When we previously discussed the loose playing of '69 you commented that without that experience, '72-74 would not have sounded like it did. Don't you think that the '71 experience also contributed to the sound, particularly in '72? They had to get used to one drummer early in the year and then the piano later on. This may not have translated well if they had tried to deal with these changes while experimenting in a more improvisational background. So while I appreciate that '69 was a time for experimenting, i find that many of these experiments came off as sloppy play. Without a little more structure during the changes of '71, i doubt that '72 could have ever sounded so good.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 19, 2011 4:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

I completely agree that 71 is an integral part of the band's trajectory, and even though I rate it less highly than the immediately adjacent years, I still love the music they played in 71, just as I love the music of 82 and 90!

I don't want to change the band's history - I'm not in the "shoulda stopped in year X" camp for any value of X, and I'm also not in the "never shoulda written songs X, Y, Z" - even the songs I don't enjoy personally I still acknowledge as part of the overall gestalt.

So, even though I acknowledge the truth of the fact that 71 is 71 because of the change to one drummer, the integration of a huge amount of newly written songs, Keith's arrival - if I'm evaluating a single show, I still downgrade it's "score" if it doesn't deliver as much jamming as the very top rank of shows.

I understand though that for some, 71 is "just exactly perfect" on the basis of its own virtues, because they would say that what it lacks in extended jamming and intricate setlists, it makes up for with great energy, all the classic NFA->GDTRFB->NFA sequences and Hard to Handles, etc. I appreciate those things, they just don't take me to the same place that 11/8/69 or anything from late 73 does.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 19, 2011 4:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

I understand where you are coming from, it really comes down to personal preference. I do find it ironic that some of the prettiest jams the band ever did were in a year that usually gets knocked for lack of jamming. The beautiful jam to start the year off, Cliff's favorite Tighten up jam on Hallloween and the really cool NFA jams during the fall. Admittedly all of these jams are much tighter than something from late '69 or late '73 so they may not be everyone's cup of tea. I love them especially the ones with Keith, and feel they are of the same caliber as the tight jams of early '69.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 19, 2011 4:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

It's hard to communicate precisely about relative quality and enjoyment. When I make critical comments about 71, it's about trying to place the shows within the continuum of GD performances, and the band was so consistently amazing from 68-74 that saying 71 is the weakest of those years is like saying that Cho Oyu is an easier mountain to climb than K2 - we are still comparing some immense Himalayan peaks.

I think 71 is a truly great year, even for the GD - it is better than 76, 82, 89, and I listen pretty fanatically to those years and will always stand up to defend 89 as a great year when people complain about it! 73 > 71 > 76 > 82 > 93 > any other rock band.

Even the weaker years of the GD are still about as great as composers like Modest Mussorgksy, Domenico Scarlatti, and Sergei Prokofiev, who wrote immortal masterpieces. 71 is about as good as Liszt and Haydn, and 73 is almost as good as Beethoven. Even 94 is at least as good as minor masters like Boccherini, Grieg, or Gershwin - and most rock bands, even pretty great ones like the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin, are considerably below that level.

[At some point, I will post the Ultimate Grand Comparative Chart of musical quality, with 15 different independent axes to quantify everything from raga to bebop to gregorian chant and then map the relative quality of two hundred GD shows sampled from all eras in comparison.]

So, what was I saying? Oh right, 1971 GD (and this show) is amazing music that will live forever in the trans-dimensional pantheon of artistic masterpieces to be compiled by the post-galactic civilizations that emerge phoenixlike from the maximal entropy configuration of a universe stretched to the asymptote of its dark-energy driven expansion. Or something like that.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 19, 2011 5:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

for some strange reason response reminded me of this clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj5k6toS7i8

good answer...i like the way you think

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 19, 2011 6:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

From BK's answer for some strange reason I thought it was going to be a clip from High Fidelity or Grossptblank.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 19, 2011 6:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

I'm honored, that's a blast of nostalgia, that movie was filmed in my hometown (where I still live) and I remember some streets down by campus being blocked off - it was a pretty Big Deal at the time. Fun for me to watch that movie and pick out the locations, and of course it's an 80s classic.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 19, 2011 6:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

FWIW, when I think of what many "novice/part time heads" prefer, it IS 71...ie, S&R, etc., etc (Bertha, M&MU, many tunes from this yr). EG, two of my sons that are part time DEAD lovers would generally pick tunes from this yr for their "collection" tapes, etc., etc.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 19, 2011 3:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Yup; it's precisely my perception of the energy + experimentation that translates = absence of lethargy + staleness (not saying that 72 = stale), but you get the idea, I suppose...I hope?

I think that the newness of these various transitional periods can be turned on its head to be part of the attraction, esp when one isn't expecting a great deal on the "tight vocals/play" end of things anyhoo (again, though many love it, One From the Vault might be the "tightest" performance ever, having practiced a great deal during the hiatus, etc., and though many love it, for me it is bland as a result...don't hate me OFTVault lovers, just sayin...).

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Poster: BVD Date: Aug 19, 2011 4:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

Damn! Missed this show by a night. My first show was the night before, but I remember taping this beauty off the radio onto cassette via WNEW radio. This run would make a nice box set.

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Poster: dark.starz Date: Aug 19, 2011 7:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-05-71

1971 was something of a big year in terms of transition.

Not unlike a baseball team who begins the year with the crew from year last, some fade to the DL, some get traded away and a few get traded in.

Around comes the fall and suddenly there's a new magic in the zen of the line-up and magic happens.

Talk about a dramatic difference in performance styling from February to April, August to October and then December.

For that matter 1971 was a very important year in the annals of The Grateful Dead.



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